Friday, February 11, 2011

Chippendale "Cupid's Bow" Chairs, Thomas Chippendale

The pattern book, The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director, made Chippendale style and the man famous in the mid 1700s.  Thomas Jefferson owned a copy.  The chairs have been used in every decade since then.  Here at The Philosophy of Interior Design, decorating is best explored by looking at some images from vintage decorating books.  This helps to break loose from the trends of today and really explore what parts of decorating and design are enduring and timeless.

Here are some vintage images:

The Practical Encyclopedia of Good Decorating and Home Improvement, 1970

There are other English styles/pattern books by Hepplewhite, and Sheraton.  I'll post about them later.  Here you can see the Chippendale chair that is characterized by the ball and claw foot or lions paw on the leg.  But these images only show the backs.  The top rail on the back gives these ones away.  See how the curves look like a Cupid's bow laying on it's side?

House Beautiful Decorating Style, 1992

Chippendale is still used today in decorating.  Maybe not paired with bright yellow lit bookcase eves like in the seventies, or a fussy messy floral arrangment, but still., Our WIP Dining Room, the prettiest blue green dining room

So timeless.  But this chair style isn't as popular right now as the Chinese Chippendale chair--and these were used in decorating in previous decades as well.  More on that in an upcoming post.

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